Saturday, October 23, 2010

Some Old, Some New

My hubby is jetlagged and sleeping. My friends left for the airport. And I'm back with Michael and Leesie. I'm always like this when I'm working on a story I love--totally obsessed. Besides, Michelle threw down the gauntlet and I couldn't resist picking it up. Great challenge, Michelle. Thank you.

So here's some old, some new. I revised Michael's chat with Kim. Do you think this works better? And, of course, I rewrote the rough draft of Leesie's drastic new poem, plus added Michael's dive log. I'm going to add a chat with Kim to round out chapter four. Chapter Four!! Yes. Watch for that on Monday.


liv2div says: hey, Kim…it’s Michael.
Kimbo69 says: Leesie’s Michael? Didn’t know we were friends. I’m so not talking to you.
liv2div says: I need your help.
Kimbo69 says: No way. Leesie’s my best friend…you broke her heart, ground it into minced meat, and fed it to the sharks. Go back to your pretty prostitute—or buy a new one. Stay away from Leesie…you messed up her life enough. I know the whole no-sex thing must be tough on you, but that’s no excuse—you promised, her. She hasn’t been online. What have you done to her?
liv2div says: you haven’t heard?
Kimbo69 says: Don’t tell me you’re back together.
liv2div says: Leesie crashed her pickup driving home from BYU
Kimbo69 says: Crashed? Leesie?
liv2div says: yeah, last Thursday
Kimbo69 says: I don’t believe you.
liv2div says:  why would I make this up?
Kimbo69 says: Why don’t I know about it?
liv2div says: her parents haven’t called you?
Kimbo69 says: I don’t think they have my number. You’re serious?
liv2div says: I don’t joke much anymore, Kim…haven’t had much to laugh about for a long time
Kimbo69 says: I used to feel sorry for you but not after what you pulled in Thailand. If this is some kind of trick to get me to help you get back with her, it’s not going to work.
liv2div says: freak, Kim…don’t you care what happened to Leesie?
Kimbo69 says: She banged up her truck. Big deal…craa-aap, she must have been hurt or she would have been online. We were supposed to chat. Oh, crap. Is she dead? Why didn’t you say that?
 liv2div says: calm down…she’s not dead…lots of broken stuff…it’s rough
Kimbo69 says: Don’t you dare tell me to calm down! How bad is it? What’s broken? My gosh, my gosh, is she like paralyzed?
liv2div says: the pickup’s totaled
Kimbo69 says: I don’t care about the damn pickup. She’s dying, isn’t she? What hospital is she in? I need to come see her. Don’t let her die.
liv2div says: listen a minute…stop jumping in before I can type out what’s happening…she’ll be okay
Kimbo69 says: Okay? Like paralyzed in a wheelchair the rest of her life or totally fine?
liv2div says: physically she should recover…totally…she’s got a stitched up head…they shaved off half her hair…her hand flew into her nose when the air bag blew so they are both busted…her collarbone snapped, ribs cracked, sprained ankles…she’s in a ton of pain
Kimbo69 says: Tell me the hospital she’s in. I’m coming right now. To hell with my classes. When did this happen? Crap, why didn’t you tell me before? You suck, you know. You really, really suck.
liv2div says: hang on a minute…you can’t visit her
Kimbo69 says: Like hell, I can’t. Leesie and I are soul-mates. You don’t have a clue what that means. I’m coming.
liv2div says: Hang on, Kim…I need to tell you the worst part
Kimbo69 says: It gets worse? You suck at breaking it gently. What are you hiding? What’s really happened to her?
liv2div says: I’ve been trying to tell you…Phil was with her…you know, her brother…he didn’t make it
Kimbo69 says: Phil’s dead? Really? Dead? That’s horrible. Awful. Oh, my poor girl, Leesie. She’s taking it bad?
liv2div says: really bad…I thought if anyone could deal with something like this it was her, but she blames herself…won’t tell anyone what happened…not even me
Kimbo69 says: I’ll come visit today. Where is she?
liv2div says: she so messed up…she thinks God won’t forgive her…she’s turned her back on her family and all her Mormon stuff
Kimbo69 says: Leave it to me. I’ll talk to her.
liv2div says: Leesie’s broken up more inside than out…her wounds will heal…I don’t know about the soul part
Kimbo69 says: I told her once I wanted her down here groveling in the dirt with the rest of us mortals…but no, not her…you can’t let her go under, Michael. DO YOU HEAR ME?
liv2div says: I need some help, Kim…I think she’ll listen to you
Kimbo69 says: Of course she will. Get her right now. Tell her it’s me.
liv2div says: she’s not here right now
Kimbo69 says: when will she be back?
liv2div says: the nurses have her…I don’t know
Kimbo69 says: I have to go  to a stupid class that I’ve blown off too many times. I’ll head out after that. We’ll have a long, long girl talk.
liv2div says: she can’t really type
Kimbo69 says: Face to face, numbskull. What hospital is she in?
liv2div says: they released her Sunday night…she couldn’t bear going home…so we ran away together
Kimbo69 says: You kidnapped her?
liv2div says: rescued her…we’re both eighteen we can do what we want
Kimbo69 says: you total creep…how could you be so selfish at a time like this?
liv2div says: she was desperate, begged me…freak, it broke my heart to see her so pathetic
Kimbo69 says: That’s no excuse for doing something so stupid.
liv2div says: I tried to talk her out of it…still trying…she won’t even let me call her parents
Kimbo69 says: You stole her from the hospital with all those injuries?
liv2div says: her mom wanted to take her home…look after her there…Leesie’s so eaten up with guilt…she can’t stand to be near her mom…it’s sad, wrong…but I’m here…I’m taking care of her…better than her parents could
Kimbo69 says: I’m sure you are. You disgust me—taking advantage of my best friend when she’s like this.
liv2div says: Leesie never told me you were vicious…and for the record I’m NOT taking advantage of her
Kimbo69 says: How did you even get back in the picture? What happened to your concubine?
liv2div says: don’t call her that…I helped Suki get out of a bad scene…that’s it…I never touched her
Kimbo69 says: Right. You got Leesie to believe that?
liv2div says: she believed it enough to send that missionary dude packing
Kimbo69 says: Jaron? Crap. I was rooting for him. Not you. Not you. Not you.
liv2div says: whatever, Kim…hate me all you want…will you talk to Leesie?
Kimbo69 says: where are you guys…can I phone her?
liv2div says: Leesie won’t let me tell anyone
Kimbo69 says: Thailand?
liv2div says: of course not…I’ll let her tell you…I think chatting would be safest…she’ll go for that…I’ll have to do the typing until they take the cast of her left hand and let her use her right arm again
Kimbo69 says: What happened to her arm?
liv2div says: She can’t move it because of her collarbone. The arm’s okay.
Kimbo69 says: It’ll be weird knowing you’re eavesdropping.
liv2div says: you’ll never know I’m there…then you’ll do it?
Kimbo69 says: Of course, I’ll do it. Don’t be stupid.
liv2div says: just don’t get too gross, okay?
Kimbo69 says: Me? Never.

Chapter Four


POEM # 76

Nurses dressed in soft sunshine yellow
pour into my breezy room.
Soft island hands,
some black, some white,
undress, unwrap, unwind,
expertly draping and
robing so I’m never
exposed, so gentle I only
cry out once.

The clinical whirlpool bath
isn’t like a hotel hot tub—
metal, deep, sterile.
I’m in it up to my neck,
collarbone brace and all,
my straggled hair bundled
in a clear shower cap,
left hand encased in plastic.
“Don’t get your face wet,” they tell me.
“When can I get this off?”
I point to my nose wrappings.
“We’ll check with your doctor.”
“I don’t have a doctor.”
One glances at my chart.
“You do now.”

The enormity of the burden Michael
has shouldered for me makes
my eyes glisten.
“Don’t cry, sugar. It’ll make your
cast soggy.”

I stay in so long I’m dizzy.
“You need to eat.”
“Not hungry.”
The “sugar” nurse brings soft
cotton underthings and a large
frothy fruit drink rich
with banana and mango.
I sip and remember.
“I think I used to
use this on my hair.”

Sugar and company clean
my wounds and soothe them
with aloe and ointment.
They wrap my ribs fresh,
change my wet brace for a dry one,
sling my right arm.
“Keep that immobile,” Sugar orders.
I nod meekly.

My ankles are blue bruised
but not nearly as swollen.
They wrap them up tight—get
me to walk. It hurts but in a clean
triumphant way—like a good stretch.

My walk ends at a black and gold salon
with too many mirrors.
Bruised eyes, fat lip, plastered up nose,
ugly, ugly stitches and so much of my hair
shaved away—nearly half my head.
A stylist washes what’s left clean.
“This is going to be a challenge.”
She holds up the ugly, wet mop
that seems so foreign. That’s not my
hair. Not my long, full mane. Not the soft
locks that Michael tangled into knots
whenever we made out.
The stylist frowns at it.
“You’ll have limited mobility. Looking
after this will be tough. Will
you have help?”
I think of my mom at home
who would wash and blow dry
my hair every day if I asked her.
“Cut it, then. I don’t care.”

The stylist chops it to my shoulders,
parts it on the side,
experiments with a comb over,
but there isn’t enough hair
in the world to cover my stitches

I stare in the mirror and hate it,
detest the silliness of the pathetic
subterfuge, loathe who I am,
what I’ve become, revile
against any effort to cover
up my damnation
with any attempt at normal.

The stylist shrugs her shoulders,
agreeing with my silent assessment.
Yes. It’s awful. Yes, you are hideous.
Yes, it’s no use. She combs a bit of hair
down over my forehead. “Bangs
will help when this shaved part
grows back.”


Michael, sun-kissed and saltwater fresh,
sleeps on my bed when I hobble
back to my room. I dismiss
my guides with a promise to rest.
I touch his hand to wake him.
“Michael. Hey.”

His eyes open,

“Freak, Leese. What the hell
did they do to you?”
He’s on his feet, wrapping
me in his arms. “I’m sorry, babe.”
He’s shakes with emotion.
“I thought they’d look after you.”
He chokes back a sob.
“Come on let’s get out of here.
I’ll find someplace else.”

He touches my stark white
new-shaved scalp like it’s lethal.
“What did they do with it?”
“My hair?”
“Did they save it?”
Tears fill his eyes.
“I don’t think so.”
“It’s gone?” His finger withdraws.
“It’ll grow back even this way.”
He swallows hard. “But your hair, Leese.”
“I couldn’t look after it.”
His head shakes denial.
“That’s why I got nurses.”
I close my eyes to block out his pain.
“I can’t stay here forever.”

“I would have washed it for you,
babe, every day.” His voice throbs.
I open my eyes and watch tears,
one by one roll down his cheeks.

I wipe at his tears with my
robe’s sleeve. I never thought of that—
thought of him—thought of
what he might need to hold
on to.
I thought only me.
And what I’d lost.
I try to kiss away his tears
and feel like a coward.

A cruel, selfish coward
who crushes, maims,
and kills.


Dive Buddy:            Leesie
Date:  04/28
Dive #:
Location: Grand Cayman
Dive Site:
Weather Condition:
Water Condition:
Water Temp: 
Bottom Time:  

I don’t know how we go from me sobbing like a wimped-out baby over Leesie’s lost hair to us making out on her cushy white bed, but that’s what happens. She starts it. I don’t resist.
I have to be careful not to jar her injuries, careful not to lose control. Leesie offers no barriers but makes no demands. She just lies there on her back. I’m on my side so I can reach her. We kiss soft and slow. Her lip doesn’t bleed this time. It hurts her, though. I can tell, even though she kisses me over and over. The movement of her mouth on mine is incredibly tender—like I am the patient. And she the comforter.
I move my mouth to her unhurt lower lip, suck softly a moment, slip my lips to her chin, her neck, her ear. I hesitate a moment then move my mouth to the velvet soft skin of her new shaved head, exploring every inch, trying to fall in love again.
“I’m sorry,” she whispers.
I pause and murmur, “More safe skin,” and go back to kissing it, absorbing every contour of her skull into my soul. I avoid the jagged gash and purple stitches holding it together.
Her scalp is warm, vibrant, alive against my lips. That’s what counts, I try to convince myself. She’s here, alive—not on that mountainside dead.
“I love you, Michael, forgive me for making it harder for you.”
“Will you marry me, Leese, at the end of the summer?”
“I’ll marry you tomorrow.”
“Sorry, babe. No can do. I want you in shape for 24/7.”
We both laugh at that, and I cradle her head, afraid to let it go again.


  1. Ah . . . I got my daily dose of Michael and Leesie. I'm happy now, thanks. :)

  2. I'm not going to lie I cried. Even though they are fictional characters they are too real for me. The last lines get me ...I see the word wedding and I forget the pain /haha/.

  3. I feel the same way Michelle, the same way....:)

  4. YAY! That's just what I want. Now it's time for them to press forward.

  5. You're on a roll.
    I love this version of Kim so much more. It feels very real.
    And as usual, it's moving to the point of tears.

  6. Kim is perfect! She's much more upset and hysterical, and it works soo well!

    And I looove Leesie's poem and Michael's dive log! I still think this is perfect. I get annoyed at Michael for a moment - I know he loved her hair, but I think he's overreacting and being a little selfish. Despite everything else he's done in this book so far, that moment makes me go "Er, hello? The girl is in pain and suffering! And you're worried about her HAIR?!" And I think that's good.

    I also think it's like... I'm not sure how to put it. Up to this point, Leesie's emotional pain has all been words, but with her shaved head, it's like it's there for all to see now. Like she... "took control" isn't right exactly, but a decision, an action fueled by what she's feeling. It just feels very real to me. Something someone would actually do under such emotional stress. Does that make sense?

    Basically, I just love it!

  7. Jo:

    I disagree. I don't think Michael is being selfish at all. He is in shock, he is not sure if someone did that to Leesie or was her own decision. I think it was too extreme, I understand why she did what she did but still I think is too much. I was in shock when I read the lines so imagine Michael looking at the girl he adored who is already broken in some many aspects loosing another thing that she loves and make herself unique. I agree that someone who is in such an emotional time in her life could do that like Britney Spears did a few years ago. By the way it's obvious that I LOVE Michael /haha/.

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  9. Michelle - I think he is being selfish. But I don't think it's a bad thing. Sure, he thinks someone did it too her, but Michael adored Leesie's hair. I could be wrong,because I don't remember - can you correctmeif so, please, Angela? - but I don't remember Michael crying when seeing Leesie for the first time after the accident. So his crying over her's all for selfish reasons - but without really thinking about it, just a natural, automatic reaction. But I think he deserves to be a tiny bit selfish here, when he's been so selfless the rest of the time.

    Whether we agree or disagree, it's got us all talking, and that can only be a great thing! :)

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  11. Great point about that you don't remember Michael crying after seeing Leesie for the first time after the accident. I think that we as fans talking about our different perceptions of the story only demonstrate how GREAT the story is.

  12. Michael did cry in the airport when his Gram told him that Leesie had been in an accident, and that she was okay. Michelle I love Michael too!!

  13. Michelle and Jo! You're both right. Michael breaks here. Leesie's shaved head pushes him over the edge. He would have never admitted that what's happened to Leesie is hurting him, too. He's been totally heroic, totally stoic. This breakdown makes him human--and makes Leesie see beyond herself and her own pain--and she commits even more to Michael.

  14. Wow.. will you marry me?
    I'll marry you tomorrow
    No, I want you 24/7

    Sweet!!! I miss her hair too, but I understand

  15. if it weren't for the comments i wouldn't have thought so much about her hair it seems to me that it fit's perfectly leesie is falling apart and Michael crying over her hair it makes me flash back to all the times he smelled her hair even going to the point of buying her shampoo seems right that he would be upset about it. ~myrrhaya~